Tricia Huebner, a Rutland community leader who has served a variety of local nonprofit organizations, will join Phoenix Books Rutland as the store manager and minority owner with her husband, Tom.
In announcing her hiring and partnership, which includes an investment in the community-supported enterprise, co-owner Michael DeSanto said Huebner was a perfect fit for the new store, expected to open late this summer.
Mike DeSanto (left) and Tricia Huebner (right) at Phoenix Books Essex.
“Phoenix Books Rutland will be more than just a business – it will be a community gathering place, and Tricia is deeply connected to this community,” DeSanto said. “I and thrilled to have her to manage the store, and excited that her enthusiasm is so great that she wanted to invest. Having an owner onsite will be invaluable.
“Tricia is exactly what we want in a manager and minority investor: a community-focused leader with deep ties, a love of Rutland and a love of books,” DeSanto said. “Her enthusiasm, intelligence and affection for Rutland make her a perfect partner.”
Huebner is a longtime community leader in Rutland, serving in a variety of roles focused on improving community life, from Rutland coordinator for Everybody Wins!, a reading and mentoring program, to serving on the boards of the Paramount Theatre and the Rutland Free Library. Huebner volunteer work has also supported organizations ranging from the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, RAFFL, to Rutland City Schools. She also worked at Rutland Regional Medical Center for 17 years in finance and human resources.
The Huebners are among more than 50 local people and businesses that agreed to pre-buy $1,000 in books as part of the store’s community-supported enterprise business model, but Tricia Huebner wanted to do more.
“An independent bookstore can be one of the central hubs of a community,” she said. “As soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to be a part of it and help make Phoenix Books an integral part of downtown and Rutland’s rebirth.”
DeSanto and his wife and partner, Renee Reiner, decided to open the Rutland store following a recruitment effort by Green Mountain Power in collaboration with the City of Rutland and the Downtown Rutland Partnership. The 2,400-square-foot store will fill a third of the former Lake Sunapee Bank on Center Street, which owner Mark Foley is dividing to provide the perfect setting.
To learn more about Phoenix Books, pre-buys and investment opportunities, call DeSanto at 872-7111.